B2B Software Marketing Tactics
B2B software marketing has many challenges related to the decision making process and the complexity of the product itself. The B2B buyers are purchasing on behalf of the company aiming to meet the organization’s objectives and priorities, but also have their personal motivations and aspirations. The decision involves a thorough evaluation of the product and the product content vs. competitive offerings and the purchasing cycle is long. Oftentimes the users of the product are not the decision makers which introduces an additional layer of complexity.
Another factor making B2B software marketing hard is that the product is technical and complex and has to be translated in an accessible and relevant to the target persona language.
B2B software products might offer an innovative solution to a problem for which their target audience has an alternative. Even if the alternative is more expensive and less productive than the new product, the decision to introduce a new system or a tool which needs to be integrated with existing technology can be a difficult and lengthy process.
Let’s take a look at a few tactics that will help you lay the foundation of your marketing plan.
Get to know your buyer persona inside out
Before you start thinking about any marketing activity or piece of content you need to know who you’re targeting. Especially in the B2B context where you might have equally important different personas, or the user of the product and the decision maker are not the same person and you need to reach and convince both.
Knowing your buyer persona inside out helps you craft the right message for your buyer persona as well as reach them through the right channels.
Check how well you have defined your buying persona, by answering the following questions:
- Persona problem, pain
- Key company’s (stakeholders) objectives
- How is the persona currently solving the problem?
- What alternative solution to your product/service can they use?
- Role in the purchase decision process [decision maker, influencer, user]
- Buying trigger
- What are their personal fears?
- What are their personal motivations/aspirations?
The answers of these questions will help you craft the messages and themes that resonate with your persona. The answers of the questions below will help you target and reach your persona on the right channels.
- Firmographics info [industry, company size, revenue, geography ]
- Demographics info [gender, age]
- Job role
If you had trouble answering some of these questions, spend time collecting further information. Study industry data, your own data from the CRM or similar system. Continue interviewing your clients and prospect clients. Read forums where your target persona looks for answers or shares information. Last but not least, study how users search for your product.
Capture the users searching with intent for a product like yours
The organic traffic is the best converting channel because it brings prospects who are actively searching for a product like yours. Are you winning or losing on getting the prospects most likely to become your clients? What percentage of the prospects actively searching for a product like yours are landing on your website and on the websites of the competition.
А keyword and content SEO audit will help you refine the list of keywords that your prospects actually search for. It will provide insights into which websites, yours included, are ranking for these keywords. It will identify content gaps and opportunities which will help you improve your google ranking for the keywords that matter and will ultimately increase your organic traffic.
The keywords and content SEO analysis must be performed on a regular basis for companies selling products with large search volumes and high online competition.
What if my product doesn’t belong to an established category and there’s no search data?
This is a common scenario in the B2B software industry, where companies are creating innovative solutions that users don’t yet know exist. In this case a keyword and content SEO analysis can still provide some valuable insights mostly about your competitors, but other tactics such as thought leadership and educational content become a priority.
Use thought leadership campaigns for education and lead generation
A typical thought leadership campaign includes a piece of content that brings value to the user – it might outline a solution to a problem, or provide an analysis based on which the user can make a decision. It should provoke the user to want to learn more.
The piece of content is gated behind a form, which collects the users contact information and once the user downloads the resource or sign up for the webinar they are put on an automatic email nurture sending them a series of similar resources.
This type of campaign is essential to B2B software marketing because it attracts new prospects to the top of the funnel, but depending on the topic can also be used for the middle of the funnel activities. The content itself can be gated and used for lead generation and after a few months when the effect of the campaign wears off, the content can be repurposed into a series of blog posts to target organic traffic and SEO benefits.
In conclusion putting efforts into honing in your buyer persona, capturing the users that search actively for a product like yours and creating thought leadership content should help you build a strong foundation for your B2B software marketing strategy.